Blogtable: How should Cavs fans receive LeBron when he returns tonight?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
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How should Cleveland fans receive LeBron James when he returns to The Q tonight?
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Steve Aschburner: With open hearts, warm memories and about a three-minute standing ovation. There should be none of the rancor that dominated his return with the Heat eight years ago, because any “debt” James might have owed to Cleveland fans (stretching with that terminology, frankly) has been repaid in full, with interest. Eleven seasons? Five trips to the Finals, including four in a row? The city’s first major sports championship since Jim Brown’s NFL days? Approximately two dozen NBA franchises – and markets and fan bases – would be delighted and humbled by such a run courtesy of one future Hall of Famer. Anybody burning a LeBron Cavs jersey at this point should be doing so solely to make room in the closet for a Lakers edition.
Shaun Powell: The fans should applaud because it’ll be one of the few chances for entertainment in The Q this season. This isn’t 2010, when LeBron returned as Public Enemy No. 1. This time he’s a certified Cleveland icon who raised a banner in the building and gave Cleveland a parade it’ll never forget.
John Schuhmann: Like he delivered the city its first championship in 52 years. I can somewhat understand the vitriol of 2010, given how James handled his departure and, to a lesser extent, how he played in the least few games of the 2010 conference semifinals. But things are much different now. James led the Cavs to a title, he didn’t make a TV special out of his decision to leave, and given how bad the Cavs are this season, his decision looks like a wise one. Well, that last part is the same as it was eight years ago.
Sekou Smith: However they please. I’d ask that they show him the proper respect and give him the ovation that he earned with all of those years of grinding for the hometown crowds. But who are we kidding? We know there is no way the entire crowd at Quicken Loans Arena follows the same routine. There will be so many emotions swirling around the building, given the state of the franchise and all of the adversity ahead. Showing LeBron some well-deserved love at this stage of the process might be a bit more than the masses can handle. LeBron knows that. He remembers 2010 and what kind of reception he got in his first game back in Cleveland in the opposing team’s uniform. That said, I’d love to see the look on his face if the crowd gave him a raucous standing ovation as he’s introduced.